Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Miranda Mayer; "Tinna's Promise"

Tinna’s Promise is a story of change and determination; and keeping a promise above all. The story revolves around Tinna, an assassin from a matriarchal society; ostracized for her heritage, she wanders northwards to find somewhere to belong. She finds Taneth, an awkward, somewhat nerdy, even a bit arrogant man, who is Wiseman for a village of horse-worshippers. Tinna is immediately drawn in to their simple way of life, and drawn to the clumsy Taneth. Part of this world is a boy named Hanru whose own life is rife with troubles and abuse. Both Tinna and Taneth take the boy under their wings, and Tinna makes the boy a promise.

Unfortunately, Tinna is derailed on her attempt to fulfill this promise, and somehow brought into the middle of a seemingly unexplained battle between dragons and the human races. Tinna is now faced with finding her way home from a great distance, contending with this violent war with dragonkind, keeping her promise to Hanru. She also has to begin coming to terms with her own feelings about Taneth, and possibly a new life amongst the Horse-Worshippers. But none of that will matter unless she and her companion Rhoa survive the ordeal.

First-time author Miranda Mayer takes an ambitious leap into creating an original fantasy world. Her characters have realistic flaws, and the story has a gritty, human quality to it that makes it one of the more exceptional fantasy books I’ve read this year. The author makes the bold step of starting the book off with characters that might not be as likable as one would expect; she writes selfishness, arrogance and pride into them. She touches on subject matter not many fantasy authors care to, and keeps the interactions among the most realistic I’ve read in a long time. I particularly enjoyed the quiet conversations between Tinna and Taneth as they get to know one another in the beginning of the book.

As you read along, the characters grow on you; you watch their characters change and develop. It is a very well written story, which perhaps could have been padded a little more with descriptions. I was left wanting for descriptions of the forests of giant trees where the Nimrath live, and perhaps a closer study of Tinna’s homeland and heritage. Despite these missing elements, they did not take away from the story. I especially enjoyed the way she painted the Araki graveyards. Beautiful.

I highly recommend this book to all fantasy readers. Especially the lady readers. The book does have some minor sexual content, so I recommend it for more mature readers. Odyssey Reviews gives five medallions for this book.

Miranda Mayer

iUniverse (2007)

ISBN 0595431461